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2020 Utah Legislature - Week 7 and FINAL Summary!

The 2020 General Session of the Utah State Legislature is complete! Thank you so much for all your support.  It is truly an honor to represent the great residents of District 33.  Just a few highlights from the week:


Coronavirus Update (COVID-19)


I started to write a "where are we now?" segment in this email. But things are changing incredibly quickly. If I gave details, it is likely that when you receive this email, it would be out of date. I will say that the best current and accurate information is available at the various websites for the Salt Lake County Health Department at https://slco.org/health/COVID-19/ and the State of Utah Department of Health at https://coronavirus.utah.gov. If you're worried about whether you may have COVID-19, please call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.

I am passing along many of the official updates from West Valley City as I receive them on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/votecraighall.

Please take good care of yourselves and your loved ones, and look for opportunities to help those around you. 

 
Special Events at the Capitol This Week
 
  • Students from West Lake STEM!

This week I was able to visit with students from West Lake STEM! Thanks for coming to visit the Capitol! Great kids! 





  • Weekly visits with the Utah AFL-CIO!

I spent the last seven weeks attending the early morning Labor Caucus meetings throughout the session. Always a great experience!  Thanks so much to the Utah AFL-CIO and the associated labor groups for your great work while representing working families!
 
  • Trevor - Intern Extraordinaire
This is Trevor. Intern extraordinaire from the University of Utah. Interns are such a big part of the Session. They do everything from interacting with constituents, keeping track of bills, helping us pass our bills, keeping us on time, scheduling meetings, giving tours, etc., etc., etc. Thanks Trevor for all your great work during the Session!


 

 

Week 7 Highlights

This last week we continued the process of voting on non-budget bills.  Of course, you can always watch the news reports.  But the best way to track any legislation is at the Legislature's website at http://le.utah.gov.  Here are a few of the more interesting bills that were discussed this last week:

  • The Utah Legislature passed two bills that aim to address community concerns around the inland port during the final days of the legislative session. [Trib] [DNews]
  • Utahns may soon be able to subscribe to out-of-state wine clubs and bring a case of liquor into the state without a penalty under a bill that is currently awaiting final approval from the governor. [Trib]
  • The start and end dates for Utah’s annual legislative session would be easier to shift in the future under a proposed constitutional change that received final approval in the House on Wednesday. [Trib]
  • The Utah Republican and Democratic parties plan to cancel their in-person state conventions next month because of the coronavirus pandemic. [Trib] [DNews]
  • Utah legislators have received threats of violence over their positions on policy issues this session, a reality Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke says is a scary example of how toxic politics have become. [Trib]
  • The Legislature gave final approval to a bill that caps copayments for insulin and allows pharmacists to refill expired prescriptions on an emergency basis. [Trib] [KUTV]
  • A bill that would bar Utah parents who owe at least $2,500 in child support from getting hunting and fishing licenses soared through the Senate Tuesday. [DNews]
  • When the statue of TV inventor Philo T. Farnsworth is booted from its place in Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., later this year, it will be moved to Utah Valley University. [Trib]
  • The Utah Education Association came to an agreement Wednesday with the legislature on a proposed constitutional amendment regarding education funding. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [KUTV]





Rep. Hall's Legislation

I have several bills this session, here are a few:

I am currently the House Chair of the Retirement and Independent Entities committee. Part of this includes the supervision of the Utah Retirement System, which has over $30 billion in assets. This bill continues to make the consistent changes to ensure that our pensions will be paid to the thousands of state employees throughout the state.

  • HB84 - Traffic Code Amendments - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. Passed the House Floor 62-3.  Passed the Senate 26-0. 
As you all know, when a bus stops and its lights are flashing and the stop arm is out, other vehicles are supposed to stop. However, compliance with this law is not as high as it should be. Last year, a study was done and there were over 900 violations in a single day! This bill will increase the minimum fine for violations, and require community service. The Granite School District asked me to sponsor this bill after experiencing way too many close calls. 

See story here




This bill would eliminate the box on the ballot that would allow a voter to vote for all candidates of a single party with one single notation.

Representative Arent (democrat) and I (republican) are sponsoring a bill together. 43 States have already prohibited this practice. Over 70% of those who have responded to my constituent survey express support for eliminating straight-ticket voting. A voter could still vote for all candidates of their favorite political party, but they would need to go through each race on the ballot. 
 
  • HB86 - Adult Autism Treatment Program. - PASSED! - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. The bill passed the House floor 49-26. Passed the Senate 25-0.  
Within the State of Utah we have multiple treatment options for children with autism. Of course, it's a reality that each of these kids grow up. However, the treatment options for individuals over 21 are extremely scarce. This bill will set up a structure where the State can begin providing better resources. 

This bill is a follow-up from a 2019 bill. Continues to clarify that personal use of government resources and property is NOT allowed.

  • HB207 - Insulin Access Amendments. - PASSED!  -I am a co-sponsor of this bill. Bill passed the House 69-2. Passed the senate 24-0.

This bill will cap copays for insulin at $30 per month unless the insurer places the diabetes treatment in its lowest-cost drug tier and waives the deductible. Some families are forced to pay hundreds of dollars a month for insulin. This is a great bill that would greatly increase access.  Here is a story on the bill.




Unlike most states, Utah does not have a minimum age at which young children can be prosecuted and incarcerated. 

This bill would apply to children 11 and under. It would not apply to the most serious crimes (murder, aggravated sexual assault, etc.). And if the child fails the alternative rehabilitation path, prosecution is still an option.  Here is a great story on the bill.





One of the biggest challenges we have with electric vehicles is trying to find a nearby charging station, especially when one is traveling far away from their home location. This bill mandates the Department of Transportation to lead in the creation of a statewide electric vehicle charging network plan.This will accelerate more charging stations throughout the State.

  • HB102 - Retaliation and Obstruction of Justice Amendments. - Did not pass - I am the chief sponsor of this bill. The bill passed the House floor 66-0. Passed the Senate 22-0. The bill did not receive the final appropriations it needed to go into effect. 

It is already a felony to threaten a judge or member of the board of pardons in relation to a criminal case. There have been a few instances that make it clear that such penalty should also apply to prosecutors in order to make it clear that such threats and intimidation to prosecutors is absolutely not acceptable.


Town Hall Meetings!


We have now had three town hall meetings (Feb. 1, 8, 20).  Thanks to those who attended!. 



Thanks for returning your survey!

 
I mailed a survey to constituents within District 33.  The answers you provide to these survey questions are invaluable.  am very interested in your perspectives. Your comments and thoughts are greatly appreciated.  If you're interested, you can still take the survey online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RepHall2020.  Thank you so much!

 
 
Visits to the Capitol!
One of our State's treasures is the State Capitol building.  And visiting during the legislative session is the best time of year to visit.  Lots of action happening every day.  I would love to give your family / school group / church group / etc. a behind-the-scenes tour of the State Capitol.  Give me a call/email and we'll make it happen. Thanks for visiting!

What Now?


The regular Session is done.  There's a chance we could have a Special Session, or a veto-override Session.  But other than that, all the legislators (including me) go back to their regular lives and jobs for the rest of the year.  We do meet in "interim sessions," which happen one day a month, to discuss possible bills, to study issues, and to recommend bills to the Senate or House for consideration. If you have an issue that you would like to discuss, or you would like me to look into some topic for next year's Session, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I will still have the occasional Town-Hall meeting, and I will keep you informed on when those will be held. I will also send out email updates after each "interim session."  For those that want more frequent updates follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall

We stayed to work on bills until 12:00 midnight on March 12.  This is a photo of the Capitol at 1:30 a.m. after I left the Capitol.  It has truly been an honor to represent District 33.  Thank you for the opportunity!





Ways to Contact Representative Hall

I make a concerted effort to reach out to all of my constituents.  For that reason, I use as many different forms of communication as possible.  Most of you have received mail from me.  I also have frequent town hall meetings (more on that above).  You can follow me online at www.votecraighall.com.  For even more frequent updates, you can follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/votecraighall and/or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hcraighall.  You are also welcome to call my cell phone anytime.  (801) 573-1774.  I will be in many meetings throughout the legislative session, so if I don't answer right away, feel free to leave me a message and I'll try to call back as soon as possible.  I will also be sending out regular updates via email.  Probably the quickest way to get ahold of me is by email.  My legislative email address is chall@le.utah.gov.

Thanks for your support. Contact me anytime.

Read all previous email newsletters here: http://bit.ly/YJCYy1

Representative Craig Hall

Legislative email: chall@le.utah.gov
Personal email: hcraighall@yahoo.com
Website: www.votecraighall.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/votecraighall
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hcraighall
Cell phone: (801) 573-1774


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